Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Ithuriel's Spear (Triteleia laxa)
All over the hills here in Northern California right now is a lovely flowering plant called "Ithuriel's Spear"...or Triteleia laxa. The corms (underground root part) were used for food by natives. Raw...they have a nice clean crisp waterchestnutty kind of texture and taste. Yum! I have yet to try them cooked as many of the tribes apparently preferred (according to Moerman).
For now...I would consider these more of a survival type food. While I would love to go out and dig up baskets full of corms for dinner...there are gaps in the knowledge regarding how long it takes for them to reproduce.
I found a big and fancy scientific paper on Triteleia laxa that conceded...
"We do not know how long it takes in the
field for a seedling to produce a plant that
flowers, or for how many years a plant flowers or
Perhaps I will need to grow some myself at my home like this author suggests...and I will find as she did that they "Multiply easily". Until I do...I will probably just enjoy the flowers in the wild...and maybe sample one if I am really hungry...and in an area with multitudes of the plant.
Here is a wonderful article on the US Forest services site that gives some great ID info...distribution maps...and fun information on the name. Enjoy!